Part 1 – Introduction & Interview:
[In this part of the test, the examiner asks the candidate about him/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. Can you tell me about yourself and your family in short?
A. Thank you for the question. I am Ravindra Kumar from Mumbai, India. I am a university student and live with my family. I am the youngest child of my parents and my father is a retired police official while my mother takes care of the household. I have three siblings and all of them are married and have their own family. Interestingly, we live in a joint family and I enjoy living with them so much. Two of my brothers are government service holders while my sister is a doctor.
Q. Could you tell me something about your hometown?
A. As I have told you, I come from Mumbai which the largest city in India. It is also the capital city of Maharashtra – which is an Indian state. Mumbai is full of dreamers, hard-labourers, starlets, stray dogs, exotic birds, artists, fisherfolk and many rich people, and not to mention India’s most prolific film industry. Formerly known as “Bombay”, Mumbai is the fourth most populous city in the world and it is considered India’s financial powerhouse and fashion epicentre. Many people complain about the population density and pollution of this city, and yet some of the majestic places and landmarks of the country are located here. Interestingly, many slums, as well as expensive palaces, coexist in this very city. Mumbai is considered the heart of India for its commercial, financial and other important features.
Q. Now tell me what you prefer to do – going out with your friends or spending your free time staying at home? Why?
A. Well, I enjoy going out with my friends than staying at home during my free time unless I am sick or have something important to do at home. The marine drive is one of my most favourite places where I hang out with my friends. I have some really good friends and I like to spend time with them. I am not a home-staying type of person and love to be outside whenever possible.
Q. What are some benefits of travelling?
A. Travelling has numerous benefits and the most important of them is that travelling enhances our knowledge. Whenever we travel to a new place and experience different cultures, we are bound to learn something new and important. It also refreshes our body and soul and prepare us to take challenges in life. Moreover, it widens our outlook and makes us more tolerant of cultural differences. I believe that travelling is a great way of learning about diverse customs, cultures and people’s way of life. This, in a way, enhances our perceptions and makes us happy in life.
Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card:
Describe a present which you were given and that you’ve broken accidentally.
You should say:
- what it was
- who gave it to you and why
- how you broke it
and explain how you felt when you broke it.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
This topic reminds me of a time when I received a gorgeous and expensive wristwatch as a gift from my elder brother James, but sadly which got broken within a few days. I was excited to receive the gift but heartbroken when I found it broken.
My elder brother surprised me with this special gift when I could manage an outstanding academic result during the first year at my university. On the day of our result publication, my brother purchased me that wristwatch from a famous brand shop. Before that, I had never used such an expensive wristwatch. I believe that was my brother’s way to show how much he cared for me. Perhaps, he also intended to motivate me to keep doing better and better in my academic performance.
Sadly, I can’t even say that I broke it as I do not know how it occurred! To know the time on that particular day, I looked at my favourite wristwatch and suddenly noticed that the glass of the watch was broken into pieces. I think the wristwatch was broken on the bus. I ride on public transports each day to reach my university. As the buses in our city are overcrowded, I need to push or get pushed by other passengers. So, the watch might have been damaged when something firm hit it hard. I was shocked at the event. Though I managed to fix it, I was appalled that I had a broken the wristwatch which I liked so much.
Q. Is there any famous store in your city that sales presents?
Answer: Well, many shops and stores in Mumbai sell various types of presents and some of them are dedicated to selling gifts only. The most notable shops that I know about or have been to are “Charagh Din Shirts”, “Hallmarks”, “The Bombay Store”, “Angel and You”, “Linking Road”, “Kulture shop”, “Cross Word” and “Pick-a-gift”. They sell numerous types of products and someone may easily pick a gift according to his budget and preference. Besides, some online gift shops have emerged recently and many people prefer to buy gifts from these online shops as well.
Q. Tell me about any famous markets or stores in your city that attract tourists.
Answer: Ummm… “High Street Phoenix” is a famous market in Mumbai which attracts more tourists than any other market or shop. However, ‘R City Mall’ is another place in this city where tourists flock to get their necessary products. If you ever go there, you will find many local and international tourists browsing through different merchandises, souvenirs and traditional Indian goods.
Part 3 – Details Discussion/ Two-way Discussion:
Q. Would you agree that presents are always advantageous for people? Why?/Why not?
Answer: Well, I would like to opine that presents are desirable and they show that we care, but they are not always advantageous to people. Certainly, ‘giving and receiving presents’ during many events and social occasions is a great trend but sometimes the receivers of the presents feel uncomfortable with the gifts. Sometimes they are not something the receiver expects or may prove unnecessary because they already have them. Besides, if a gift is meant to flatter someone or to bribe someone, it may create confusion and dilemma.
Q. What kinds of presents are suitable for people in any situation?
Answer: Umm… I think gift items like books, flowers, electronic gadgets, wristwatches, mugs, chocolates, and personalised gift-cards are a few types of presents that could be used in any situation. These gifts are not specific to any occasion and hence suitable for people to receive and use anytime. Besides, we can present someone gift-vouchers or coupons that they can use to buy anything they like and these sorts of gifts could be suitable for all.
Q. How do you think the way of giving presents will change in the future?
Answer: This is a slightly difficult question to deal with as it is hard to predict the future of gift-giving tradition. I think people will exchange gifts on only important occasions in the future, but it will become essential to exchange gifts on significant festivals like Christmas, Puza, New Year Eve, and Eid. Online gift shops have already emerged to ease people’s method of buying and sending gifts. I believe people will use such online gift-shops more frequently in the future. Finally, I also believe that the number of virtual gifts or electronic gifts will be on the rise. In fact, people are becoming increasingly busy and they do not have time to select gifts for others. Rather, they will either send virtual gifts or take the service of a third-party organisation who will take charge of selecting, personalising and sending the gift to the intended recipient.
Q. How has gift-giving trend changed since your grandparents’ time?
Answer: The gift-giving trend has significantly changed since our grandparents’ time. For example, during my grandparents’ time, one needed some occasions to give any gifts, but that’s not necessarily the case these days. Besides, there were not too many gift ideas or gift items to choose from, but today, we can see many different kinds of gift items for all ages and budgets to surprise our families and friends. Finally, during my grandparents’ time, choosing a perfect gift was a time-consuming business most of the times, but today, we can choose our favourite gifts rather easily and quickly from the comfort of our homes by using the internet technology.
Q. Do you think that people have become more materialistic when it comes to giving gifts, as compared to your grandparents’ time?
Answer: No, I don’t really think that people have become more materialistic when it comes to gift-giving as compared to my grandparents’ time because gifts are more personalized today with more meaningful thoughts behind them. Besides, in these days, people can give gifts, be it small or unique, anytime without worrying too much about their prices as long as they are perfect, in order to show their love and appreciation. Finally, today, “gift-giving” has become an industry itself, and as such, the issue of being “materialistic”, when choosing a gift, becomes irrelevant because everyone, more or less, tends to follow the industry standards when buying gifts.
Q. What kinds of gifts would men, women and children generally like to receive?
Answer: Although it depends on culture, occasions and traditions of a particular country or place as to what kinds of gifts people like to receive, men, women and children generally like to receive fancy clothes, shoes, watches, jewellery items, perfumes, sunglasses, mobile/smartphones and computers among other items. Sometimes, while men and women like to receive flight tickets to some popular holiday destinations, some children would prefer to receive movie tickets to watch some of their favourite movies. Finally, sometimes, people would also like to receive “good books” and “flowers” as gifts.